We report the findings of an electrophysiological study in 9 patients affected by olivopontocerebellar atrophy, 4 with a dominant form and 5 with a sporadic form. Superficial peroneal nerve biopsy was obtained from 2 patients. The electrophysiological alterations were signs of collateral reinnervation and loss of motor units, decrease in sensory potential amplitude and increase in distal motor latency. Only a slight reduction in motor and sensory conduction velocity was observed in some cases. Nerve biopsy showed slight reduction of the number of myelinated fibres. In the first case, fibre diameter distribution was unimodal, due to reduction of myelinated fibres of large diameter, in the second case there was no significant alteration of the fibre distribution. In both cases short internodes were present with no signs of segmental demyelination, remyelination or axonal degeneration. The alterations observed in the peripheral nervous system are probably secondary to a lesion of the posterior root ganglion and the anterior horn cell in the spinal cord.